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Nearly one million euros is needed to restore the Monte-Cristo castle that was once home to famed novelist Alexandre Dumas, author of classics including "The Three Musketeers."

The castle in northern France has fallen into disrepair and is threatened by humidity.

The current managers of the estate say 921,000 euros ($1.0 million) is needed to get it back in shape.

The municipal association that runs the estate is looking for public contributions to help with the restoration. If they can raise five percent of the funds, they will get further help from the national Heritage Foundation.

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Major grants to fund renovations Springfield - The Springfield Museums have received two major grants to fund exterior renovations to the William Pynchon Memorial Building (formerly known as the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum).

Through $120,000 from the Cultural Facilities Fund of the Massachusetts Cultural Council and another $50,000 from The Beveridge Family Foundation, Inc., the museums will be able to repair and restore the building's slate roof, replace its gutters, rebuild its shutters and dormers, and paint the building in accordance with historical preservation standards. Renovations to the building have already commenced, with completion targeted for the spring of 2015.

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Public and private institutions are joining forces to restore the 13th-century Basilica of Santa Maria di Collemaggio in the earthquake-damaged town of L’Aquila, Italy.

According to the plan presented to the mayor Tuesday, the regional heritage authority will oversee the design, construction work and security of the site, while three universities (Milan, Rome and L’Aquila) and the Italian energy group Eni will advise on technical matters, such as improving the long-term earthquake resistance of the building. Eni is financing the €12m project. A call for tenders has been released to appoint a contractor by December, with a projected completion date in 2016.

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The Milwaukee Art Museum has announced its Plan for the Future, a comprehensive public campaign to restore its War Memorial Center and Kahler building and reinstall the galleries. The Milwaukee Art Museum is comprised of three buildings designed by three legendary architects -- the War Memorial Center, a masterpiece of mid-twentieth-century design created by Finnish architect Eero Saarinen in 1957; the Kahler building, which was created by the American architect David Kahler in 1975 to create additional exhibition space; and the Quadracci Pavilion, which was created in 2001 by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

Last spring, Milwaukee County donated $10 million to help fund the repair of the museum’s War Memorial Center and Kahler building, which house the institution’s Collection galleries. The museum hopes to raise another $15 million to fund additional renovations and a reinstallation of the collections. The institution will be asking for public donations as part of its Plan for the Future campaign, which took two years to develop.

The overarching goals of the Plan for the Future are to increase exhibition space; create a new lakeside entrance, establishing easier public access to the museum; reinstall the collection with a more intuitive layout; and install energy-efficient LED lighting. Repairs and restorations to the Milwaukee Art Museum are slated to begin in the fall. The museum will remain open during the project.

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Officials at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam announced that the museum will reopen to the public on April 14, 2013. The Rijksmuseum, a Dutch national institution devoted to arts, crafts, and history, has been closed for 10 years as part of a massive renovation and modernization project.

The museum is currently working to reinstall around 8,000 masterpieces from the national collection spanning from the Middle Ages to present day. While the Rijksmuseum’s main building was closed, the institution sent a selection of 400 works, including their most famous painting, Rembrandt’s (1606-1669) The Night Watch (1642), to the Philips Wing, a previously renovated “fragment building” belonging to the museum. The works formed a major exhibition titled Masterpieces of the Dutch Golden Age, which saw approximately 1 million visitors during its run.

The Rijksmuseum renovation cost approximately $481 million to complete and included restoring all eighty of the museum’s galleries with their original decorations and paintings as well as implementing the most up-to-date technologies and applications. The project was expected to reach completion in 2008, but a series of contractor issues and planning problems delayed progress.  

Museum officials expect attendance to increase significantly after the institution reopens; prior to the Rijksmuseum’s closure, it saw approximately 1 million visitors each year. The museum is also planning to stay open 365 days a year, which would make it the first national museum in the world to be open every day.

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